Monday, June 13, 2011

Survey Says...

On the first day of my summer vacation...  Well, not really.  Today would still be my weekend if it were a regular work week; tomorrow will truly be the fist day of vaca.  Nevertheless, on the first day of my summer vacation, I decided to get some of my ugly responsibilities out of the way.  You know, paying bills, replying to emails.  Well, one of my ugly responsibilities was a survey from a service we use regularly. 

Now I'm no different than 80% of the public, I usually don't take the time to fill out those sort of things as long as I am relatively satisfied.  In this case, I can't say I'm satisfied, but I'm not looking to take my business elsewhere.  I hoped enough people might speak out against the current trend, and perhaps changes will be made.  Isn't that what we're taught all through school?  Democratic process?  Freedom of Speech and all that?

Anyway, the survey started innocently enough, but they didn't have one of those little gauges on there telling you just how close you were to completing the survey.  OK, how long can this take, right?  Despite the fact I wasn't feeling well today, and I'm pre-menopausal, I bit.  Big mistake.

So, I get to the twenty-fifth question or so -- which as far as I'm concerned if you can't get to the point in twenty questions or less, you're not asking the right questions.  The ADD is fully engaged, I'm bored but trying desperately to stay focused, when suddenly...

"Q26 Have you ever heard of ____?" (the name of the company for which I am taking the survey)  What?  What do you mean have I ever heard of them?  I use them; they sent me this survey.  I'm a customer?

But it gets better.  I look at the answers.  They are:

A. Radio Advertising
B.  Hair Artistry
C.  Hotel and Restaurant Management

Huh?!  I looked around the room for Sally Struthers, thinking perhaps, I'd entered one of her college-on-line infomercials.  Nope.  So I just selected one.  Then came the next question.  It was actually the same question they'd asked me about six questions ago.  Fortunately this one had a little box in which I could add my own comments.  So I told them to fix their stupid survey.  And then when I got to the next question -- the same as the one about eight questions ago?  I added more comments!  It was after doing this about four more times that I began to understand the mania that overtakes those serial whatevers, that cut pages out of magazines and hang them on the wall, or cut letters from the text of newspapers and glue them to notebook paper before mailing it off to intended victims. 

By Question 40 or so the frustration turned to lunacy, and I wound up answering the remaining questions with any ridiculous response I could fabricate.  Unfortunately, not until I was heading to the kitchen to take out my aggressions on an unsuspecting brownie, did it occur to me my responses might be tracked.  Maybe I've seen too many movies, but aren't there certain "code" words you cannot use online or over the airways?  Don't you wind up on some FBI watch list?  Aren't you flagged as "suspect" or something?  The NSA begins to follow you? maybe Lojack your car?  Should I think about removing the SIM card from my cell?  Head back to the kitchen to fashion an aluminum foil hat?

I'll let you know how the rest of my vaca goes. 

Then again, maybe not.

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